Ben E. Helmer

Biography

Ben Helmer has been vicar of St. James' since June of 2009. He has been ordained to the priesthood for 38 years. He was raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, graduated from Michigan State University and received his M. Div. from General Theological Seminary in New York. His wife, Jane, is a mostly retired horticultural writer and editor. They have two sons. Richard is a priest in the Diocese of California and Steven is a carrier pilot in the U.S. Navy. Ben has served churches in Northern Michigan, Western Kansas and West Missouri. He was also the staff officer for rural and small community ministries for the Episcopal Church from 1999-2005 when he retired. He and Jane were then invited to work in Louisiana for a year where Ben was a chaplain to clergy, diocesan staff and caregivers and Jane worked as a volunteer following the ravages in Katrina. In June of 2007 Ben and Jane went to Guam for 18 months where Ben served as archdeacon for the Episcopal Church in Micronesia before returning to Missouri. The Helmers now live in Holiday Island about 7 miles north of Eureka Springs with their chocolate lab, Jessie.  

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May 26, 2019

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which...

March 17, 2019

While it may be hard to imagine what life for Abraham was like, or even whether he was only a patriarchal ideal in the Old Testament, a careful reading of the passage from Genesis connects us to him with a contemporary question: how can...

November 25, 2018

This sermon is being written the day after the massacre of eleven congregants of the Jewish temple in Pittsburgh. As we approach the end of our Christian year and focus on the reign of Christ the King, we ponder this event and many other...

March 10, 2018

If you are uncomfortable around snakes, this might not be your Sunday! But, if you can set that discomfort aside, you will be treated to an insight about how the ancient Hebrew Bible reading from Numbers connects with the Gospel...

February 25, 2017

It had been a long, multi-year mission with not much to show for it except threats from the rulers of occupied Israel and the religious authorities. Despite countless healings of the sick, large crowds coming out to hear him, miracles...

August 20, 2016

Today’s readings and Collect can be seen as a unit teaching us about God’s power and how it works in us. The opening Collect (prayer) in the Episcopal Church says: “Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in...

March 5, 2016

The Prodigal Son is a story familiar to all of us and movingly depicted in art, drama and dance. We like stories like this; ones with happy endings where people come to their senses and are restored to the family. But that isn’t how...

October 17, 2015

One remarkable thing about a lot of Christians is the way they approach the world and one another. There is a quiet reserve, a sense of hospitality and genuine submission to one another. People who observe this often mistake it for...

May 13, 2015

“Lord, is it time?” How many questions like that do we ask on our journey in faith? In today’s reading from the Book of Acts, while the apostles were still looking for deliverance from political domination and oppression, they asked...

May 31, 2014

We are all familiar with depictions of people coming and going. Many will recall in the 1939 film, “The Wizard of Oz,” how Glinda, the good witch, descends upon Dorothy and the Munchkins in a bubble, and after delivering a message and...

January 11, 2014

Having a baptism today gives us something to celebrate. Whether the person to be baptized is a child or an adult, a baptism done on this day is more than special, it is triumphant. In a world that celebrates life achievements mostly...

November 2, 2013

“It is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service.” This phrase in the opening collect today is a major theme in today’s readings. In the passage from Isaiah we hear God’s angry tirade against...

August 10, 2013

Christians have always believed in a God who is concerned with the natural world. We have prayed to God from the depths of coal mines to the heights of Everest and from outer space. We have blessed ships and planes in God’s name, built...

February 23, 2013

We begin today with Abram at the earliest part of his journey with the Lord. Remember that Abram’s name is later changed by God to Abraham “the father of many nations.” Abram is to lead his people to a new land, but the journey is hard,...

August 18, 2012

Two old friends recently met at a school reunion. They had not seen each other for 35 years. During that time they had each married, raised children, worked to support their families and, they discovered, been active members of their...

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Christopher Sikkema